SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– The immediate response from trained professionals following Buffalo Bill’s player Damar Hamlin’s collapse Monday night wasn’t just critical to saving his life but St. Joseph’s heart disease specialist Dr. Russell Silverman says was vital for his recovery.

“The importance of knowing CPR and giving high-quality CPR in a setting that you are unprepared for is very important and these people on the sidelines did a remarkable job and deserve all the credit,”

Dr. Russell Silverman, Director of Heart Failure St. Joseph’s Health

The team of physicians at The University of Cincinnati Medical Center announced Thursday that Hamlin’s already showing significant improvements. Dr. Silverman said that’s to be expected given the quick medical attention he received, being a professional athlete and only 24 years old. However, recovery can look different for others depending on a number of factors.

“If the individual is older with other diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking maybe other issues even a prior stroke or prior heart attack their likelihood of having an excellent outcome like he appears to be having is much less likely,” Dr. Silverman said. 

Depending on the patient’s condition the road to recovery can be long or short but normally requires close monitoring at a hospital for an extended period of time followed by some type of rehabilitation. 

Dr. Silverman says the biggest support cardiac patients need is from friends and family who are vital to ensuring the patient receives the emotional and physical support needed to fully recover.